We asked Louisa, our Programmes and Events Co-ordinator, how volunteering with Play for Change (PFC) has landed her an excellent start to her career and her top five tips to anyone who is considering volunteering.
Why did you start volunteering?
After recently graduating from University I didn’t really know what I wanted to do. I spent some time talking to people and finding out about different opportunities until someone told me about PFC and that they were looking for volunteers, so I got in touch.
How did your education help you?
My university degree in Sociology and an A Level in Physical Education had provided me with a fundamental basis of understanding the importance of sport and play during the developmental years. Yet I still had a lot to learn about the world of work, especially working for a charity.
How has volunteering helped you?
Volunteering for PFC was a great experience as it gave me a broad introduction into an industry I admittedly didn’t have much familiarity with. The brilliant thing about working within a small team is that you immediately get thrown into the deep end, which for me I really enjoy.
What type of stuff did you do?
My role as a volunteer were not dull admin jobs which you can sometimes find in office internships, I was immediately given projects to work on that were genuinely benefiting and developing PFC. One of my projects involved designing and developing content for the new website to express what PFC was really about, which is vital for the website visitors and any stakeholders.
What did you learn?
It gave me an introduction to our various sporting programmes here in the UK and worldwide; who the programmes are benefiting and how best to develop the programme so that it directly tackles issues the beneficiaries are facing.
Volunteering for PFC became a massive career step for me, it was just my luck that after two months of volunteering at PFC the role of Events and Programmes Coordinator became available and I was chosen!
I am two weeks into my official role at PFC and I am enjoying it more than ever. My volunteering experience is definitely to thank for this, as I already had the background history and training needed, so I could get straight into the managing and developing of the programmes and events.
What advice would you give to others looking to volunteer?
Speak to people.
Explore all avenues.
Follow up all contacts and opportunities.
Try something new.
Get stuck in.